Saturday, August 27, 2011

Street Photography for Beginners - Compose Like a Master

We are all now masters of our cameras, and it has truly now become a tool that enhances our ability to make art.  It is time to begin working on our second required skill for improving our street photography.  Remember while doing this to continue following the golden rule, Don't Shoot Street Photography.

If you spend some time looking at the masters of street photography images, like Henri Cartier Bresson's, they all have one thing in common; their photographs are compositional masterpieces.

Composition is often the most overlooked skill in street photography, where photographers focus more on capturing the "decisive moment", but without strong composition a photograph will an excellent captured moment will still not pop out of the page. 

Street photography requires the photographer to have the ability to make a strong composition in a fraction of a second; it almost must be second nature to the street photographer.

In order to gain this "sixth sense" of photography and have composition become second nature you must study composition and practice.  This will be a life long task that will always require you to be learning, practicing, and refining your compositional skills. 

This is a very big task to take on, so in order to not become overwhelmed break the elements of composition down into single elements.  This way you can focus on each one individually. Go out each time and only focus on one element of composition.  For example, spend an entire day working on lines.  Focus on looking for lines everywhere, you will be surprised how abundant they are.

As you practice each element of composition more and more they will begin to come a lot more naturally as you look at a potential photograph, slowly becoming second nature.

In our next post we will continue moving along our journey towards becoming better at street photography by looking at our next skill.


Melissa Tandoc said...

This is great Aaron. I started reading from your most recent to the previous ones. I've learned a bit of composition from Mari, but from Street photos point of view, I guess, this'll be the first.

I'm hoping to learn how it is done. Thanks.

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